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GM prices Chevrolet Volt at $41,000

Tax breaks will help to substantially reduce the price of the gas-and-electric Volt, which goes on sale in November. Tax breaks will help to substantially reduce the price of the gas-and-electric Volt, which goes on sale in November. (Ethan Miller/ Getty Images/ File)
Associated Press / July 28, 2010

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DETROIT — General Motors Co. said its Chevrolet Volt electric car will start at $41,000 when it hits the market in November.

While the price is about $8,000 more than for its closest rival, the Nissan Leaf, GM will offer a $350-per-month lease deal that’s essentially identical to the Leaf’s. That will put the battery-powered Volt within reach of many people, GM said.

Both cars are eligible for a federal tax credit that will cut their prices by $7,500. The Volt’s price would fall to $33,500, while the Leaf’s would drop to $25,280 from $32,780. Some states, such as California, Georgia, and Oregon, offer additional tax breaks.

The Volt, a four-door sedan, runs on battery power for up to 40 miles but has a small gasoline engine to generate electricity once the battery runs down. The gas engine can generate power to run the car another 300 miles.

That’s a big selling point, because some drivers worry about the battery going dead during trips. This so-called range anxiety dogged GM’s experimental EV-1 electric car in the 1990s.

Nissan’s Leaf, which goes on sale in December, can go up to 100 miles on a charge. The car doesn’t have a gas engine and must be recharged once its battery is depleted. Nissan said the Leaf emits no pollution.